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Military Sidetrack

I have a small challenge for you in a form of a quick quiz question: You must use just one word in order to describe following paragraph:

"You sleep in small rooms with other people usually on bank-beds and everyday you must get up and be out of bed exactly at 5 hundred hours and go outside to do physical exercises where you are usually forced to sing songs with no significant meanings. Three times a day you wait in line in order to eat or you don't get any food. You have to wear the same clothing like all others, take weekly showers in large mutual bathrooms and in other parts of the day you have to work on assigned jobs or learn how to survive fight with other people similar to you."

I don't know but I've been told

So what is it? I am sure there are several words with different meanings that easily fits the description but in relation to what I am going to write in this post the chosen word is: The Army. In this particular case, there is no room for accidental similarity with other words you might use. Simply, military service is created to be cruel where you must fit your position without thinking. There is no democracy here, you either obey orders or you are out. Along with others you have mutual name - The Troops. There is no individuality here other than your number on a metal plate you wear under the uniform. I have to add that I am not targeting any particular military service in this post, just wanted to write generally about worldwide armies in relation to what it means to our pure survival on this planet. I will also try not to sound pathetic and cry for Lennon's kind of slogans like "make love, not war" and stand an equally non-sensed and opposite position of the stick.

Instead, let's speak throughout the facts of a cruel world order as it is today as a result of couple of millenniums of human rapid evolution creamed with different religiosity, various animosities, cultural differences and different level of development monitoring in technology superior time comparing to previous centuries. If we look all our mutual aggressiveness and violent history the question is why aren't we doomed and wiped out with our own differences already? The answer is simple really and this is maybe predicted by Nikola Tesla long ago. Today the leading countries are in possession of a technology to hit a target as small as square meter from a distance measurable by hundreds of kilometers. Tesla once had this obsession of making a long distance weapon based on a electrical energy flashing throughout air capable of destroying the enemy located on different continent. He said that when all armies got in possession of such weapon any war would become meaningless as there would be no winner, only two losers and collateral damages in between.

Crusades - continuous religious wars

Nowadays, with all currently existing military technology, it looks like we are heading toward the planetary society like in this Tesla's vision. But, we are not there yet, surely there are more technology superior countries today than in the middle of previous century who polarized the world in a so called "Cold War", but still the same dangerous animosities of the past are still there. I remember when I listened a podcast about a book "The Omega Scroll" in the interview with author Adrian d'Hagé, former Australian brigadier and security officer. He shared his thoughts about current situations in the world of the time after 9/11 event and the open war against recognized terrorists in relation of religious dogma. Both sides often used a sentence "in the name of the god" while their active military campaigns performed outside their main countries or habitat if you will. Adrian d'Hagé is now a novelist and author of great adventurous novels in regards to military threats especially in terrorism and bioterrorism and I loved his glimpse on religious property of all violent "encounters" between Christianity, Islam and Judaism. These three religions seem to be the the major cause of all big warfare and conflicts in past two millenniums. Ironically, their dogmatic religious beliefs are connected to the same divine super being and the world would definitively be the better place if history of world's three major religions was more peaceful back then when it all started.

But to get back from the cause to the effect, worldwide armies nowadays are pretty different, depending on country, ideology and long term goals. Some of them depends on the state of the art armory and up to the date electronics in all aspects of military units with professionals hired and paid for their services just like in any other regular jobs while others depend on participating all people within their mandatory active service and also as in reserve or veteran units.

Also, some armies are trained for any kind of war everywhere on the planet while others specialize in their own territories only. Regardless of all the differences one thing is very much common for all worldwide armies. With small exceptions they all share the largest budget cuts comparing to all other annual expenses in their countries. Globally military spending on weapons are measurable by almost 2 trillion of US dollars. The more transparent numbers you can find on the net is about budget spending in USA where last year they spent $317 billions compared to only $12.8 for NASA. More or less the same story is everywhere else. Nobody is questioning the numbers though but every now and again I hear the same justification where people state importance of military research and inventions that first appeared or invented for army purposes and then spread to the civilians like airplanes, microwave ovens, mobile communications, digital photography, internet, gps, radar, medicine tools, etc. However this is false dilemma and direct result of giant budget and lots of money reserved for military institutions. All those things would have been invented anyways if the Army/Nasa budget cut ratio is reversed. Not just invented the same but also with much better properties and quality considering they would be targeting wider civilian usage. Additionally, imagine those trillions of dollars redirected into space exploration just for couple of years - we would probably have artificial gravity already in production by now along with the fleet of interplanetary space crafts mining the asteroid belt and outer planets.

To get back to the title and it's embedded question - is Military really a sidetrack of the humanity? To me it definitively is, but also it is not created intentionally, it is just a reflection of current world order. It is just a matter of cause and effect, a kind of natural defense created by ultimate fear of simple survival. The ultimate fight of inner head's rational with emotional brain cells. The conclusion in this post is the same as the wisdom in the post I wrote last year by the name Intelligent Life. I'll just repeat the metaphorical conclusion: "It is unwise from some interstellar species to give us technology to leave the Earth, chances that we would use it for star wars are bigger than it could be used for peaceful exploration of solar system and beyond.".

Simply, the reptilian complex in our brains is still strong, evolutionary speaking. There is nothing we can do but wait for it's further influence degradation and fight it with reason more effectively.

Russia and China boost arms spending, US cuts back

Wait, how big is NASA’s budget again?

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
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